Described as Asia's best kept secret, Sarawak is the largest, richest and most varied state in Malaysia. It's situated on the island of Borneo and, along with Sabah, makes up East Malaysia. The South China Sea separates it from Peninsula Malaysia.
Like Sabah, Sarawak is celebrated for its natural beauty and diversity. It also has a rich cultural heritage, which includes the ongoing presence of traditional lifestyles. That is, Sarawak's numerous Dayak tribes still live in longhouses - with whole village populations living in one structure, and separate rooms opening on to a communal veranda. This communal spirit is extended to visitors who are invited to stay overnight.
Sarawak's natural wonders can best be experienced in its cave systems, national parks, wildlife centres, untouched coral reefs, and ancient rainforests. The clear waters off the coast offer one of the world's most exceptional diving experiences. Trails wind through the mangrove swamp, rocky headlands and tropical rainforest of Bako National Park, and are a must for hikers. Visitors will also see protected species of Hornbill and proboscis monkey, along with other plant and animal life. Permits are required and can be obtained in advance from the Sarawak Tourism Board office. The Niah National Park and Niah Caves are another favourite attraction.
Kuching is Sarawak's capital and a good base from which to explore the national parks. Its rich history can be seen in a variety of museums, including the Sarawak Museum, or at the Sarawak Cultural Village. The resort city of Miri is the gateway to the northeast, and is fast becoming the state's most popular tourist destination. Renowned as an adventure city, it offers a wide range of accommodation options, good beaches, and a lively nightlife, and is within reach of several national parks and natural attractions. Visitors will also find some of the best diving in Borneo.